Here is an excerpt from Emily Nussbaum’s review of the Pivot launch. You can read the entire article at The New Yorker.
Who are the Millennials? Narcissists, that’s who. Entitled types who actually expect to be paid for the work they do. A generation foolish enough to have graduated into a recession—”liking” rather than loving, stealing Wi-Fi, twerking molly (or whatever it is you do with molly). Takers of selfies!
This unfortunate demographic, which has become an easy target for anti-technology pundits, a peg for prurient essays on hookup culture, and a marvellous resource for op-ed columnists in a rush, is now in possession of its very own cable channel: Pivot, which débuted, very quietly, last month. Launched by the producer Evan Shapiro, whose résumé includes executive roles at Sundance and IFC, two of the more innovative small cable networks, the network has a sly slogan: “It’s Your Turn.” And so far, at least, you’d never recognize that mythical Millennial in Pivot’s schedule, which has an appealingly humble aura—it’s diverse, it’s global, it’s progressive, with a touch of early MTV (right down to its première broadcast, a montage of bands covering “Video Killed the Radio Star”). As long as you avert your eyes from the talk show hosted by Meghan McCain, Pivot suggests legitimate creative possibilities. The highlight is the sweetly melancholic half-hour comedy “Please Like Me,” a small charmer that is a bit like “Louie” or “Girls”—that is, if Louis CK were Australian or Lena Dunham gay.
Pivot is barely a network yet—it’s more of a soft launch—but, at its best, it feels like a thoughtful attempt to reach young viewers without relying on pre-chewed assumptions about who they are. Traditionally, cable networks don’t find their identities until they create a hit: “The Sopranos” for HBO, “Buffy” for the WB, “Mad Men” for AMC. Yet there’s something to be said for watching an institution before it becomes a stable brand, when there’s still oddness and experimentation, and room for interesting mistakes. MTV was like that at first: although the v.j.s barely knew how to handle their microphones, if you were the right age you couldn’t stop watching. Pivot isn’t anywhere near that exciting yet, but it’s been around only a month. Give the kid a chance.
More: Read our Pivot Case Study.